Biography and History

Henry Burchard Fine (Princeton Class of 1880), the first and only dean of the departments of science, was one of the men who did most to help Princeton develop from a college into a university. He served as an editor of The Princetonian, where he began a life-long friendship with Woodrow Wilson (Princeton Class of 1879). After Woodrow Wilson returned to Princeton as professor of jurisprudence in 1890, he and Fine resumed the close friendship they had begun in college days. In 1903, shortly after he became president of the University, Wilson appointed Fine dean of the faculty of science. After his election as president of the United States, Wilson urged Fine to accept appointment as ambassador to Germany and later as a member of the Federal Reserve Board, but Fine declined both appointments, saying that he preferred to remain at Princeton as a professor of mathematics.

Source: From the finding aid for MC217

  • Office of Dean of the Faculty Records. 1781-2016 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC118

    Princeton University's dean of the faculty is the senior administrator responsible for the quality and well-being of the faculty and professional staffs of the university. In the past, the office has been responsible for matters ranging from student discipline to undergraduate academic life and the curriculum. This record group consists of the files of the faculty, the dean, the office, and its staff. In addition to the office's subject files, the collection includes the records of faculty meetings, faculty and University committees, and the personnel files of faculty, senior staff, and trustees.

  • Henry B. Fine Collection on Woodrow Wilson. 1902-1922 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC217

    Consists of eleven letters from Woodrow Wilson to Princeton professor Henry B. Fine and other documents related to Wilson.